Gazette letters: Quiz night, partying, a public invitation, National Citizen Service and Hackney Marshes

The Oxjam volunteer team

The Oxjam volunteer team - Credit: Archant

On Monday’s charity quiz at The Scolt Head in Dalston, which raised £800 for Oxjam, writes Amy Barber.

We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses and we are truly thankful for their kind [prize] donations which helped us to surpass our funding target. It sets a high bar for our future fundraising events ahead of the main Oxjam Takeover in October which will see venues welcome artists and music fans from all over, with the objective of raising money to eradicate global poverty. Oxjam is a great opportunity for local businesses and the community to come together through music and other cool events like this one.

I was at this Stamford Hill party and I can tell you that it only got heated because the sound system got confiscated and there was no reasoning, writes a Gazette reader, full name supplied:

We weren’t harming anyone – we just wanted to get together on a nice day and party. I don’t believe the party was illegal as the person that hosted it lived there.

Us youth of today have nothing to do on hot days and what better to do than get together and have a nice time in the sun?

Maybe if the police took this into consideration they would have approached the situation differently.

We weren’t out to harm anyone and no one knew many people were going to turn up and enjoy the sun.

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Are we not allowed to have fun in the sun?

Hackney and Islington Socialist Party invites you to a public meeting on the growing “Black Lives Matter” movement against racism and police killings, writes Hackney and Islington Socialist Party.

We are lucky enough to be able to host a guest speaker from the US – Ryan Watson from Black Lives Matter and Socialist Alternative.

We hope you can make it on July 26 from 7.30pm to 9pm at Cafe Z Bar, Stoke Newington High Street.

I always used to look forward to the summer holidays but it can be a long break if you don’t have anything planned, writes Arsh Shaikh, 18, Hackney, (participant in government-backed residential youth programme National Citizen Service NCS).

Before going on NCS I sometimes felt really lonely and actually pretty bored just sitting at home not physically seeing my friends. Some days I even felt like I wanted to be back at school!

When I signed up to NCS I was worried that, although I would have something to do over the summer holiday, I wouldn’t be with my own friends.

As soon as I arrived, I realised everyone was in the same boat as me and we were excited to get to know each other. We all became really close and had so much fun.

I’ve now made some lifelong friends and I’ve already got loads of plans this summer, so I definitely won’t be alone.

On the council’s proposal to increase parking on Hackney Marshes (Gazette p3), writes Kate Ashbrook, general secretary, Open Spaces Society.

The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, is dismayed that the London Borough of Hackney is recommending its planning sub-committee to approve the council’s plans to relax the conditions for parking on Hackney’s North Marsh.

The society objected in 2014 to an application from the council to build a pavilion and associated car park here, on registered common land, but the development was granted planning permission and consent by the Planning Inspectorate for works on common land. Now Hackney wants to increase the parking provision from 58 to 68 vehicles.

The North Marsh is an important area for quiet recreation, much enjoyed by the public.

The expansion of parking capacity will lead to an increase in vehicular traffic, disrupting people’s enjoyment and putting everyone at greater risk from accidents – children in particular – and from pollution.

We consider this to be an abuse of common land, and contrary to the ethos of the consent which was granted to the borough by the Planning Inspectorate for works on common land last year.

Hackney should be aiming to reduce car travel not encourage it.

The council admits that it will require further consent under the Commons Act 2006 to allow additional parking on common land.

We shall oppose such an application. We urge the planning committee to refuse to allow an expansion in the number of parking spaces here.